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February, 2014 |

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German judges scrap charges against Auschwitz accused Lipschis

By

our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online
  
    

Berlin (dpa) – German judges have thrown out a case against a
94-year-old Lithuanian-born man who was deported from the United
States for concealing his time as a guard at the Auschwitz
concentration camp, a court spokesman said Friday.

Hans Lipschis once reportedly told news media that he had been part
of the security detail at Auschwitz but only worked in the kitchen.

Judges said through a spokesman Friday that Lipschis suffers from
dementia. The case is the highest-profile Holocaust case still
undecided by the courts. Lipschis lived in the United States until
his Nazi links were uncovered.

He was arrested last year at his German home in a last-ditch bid to
convict former Nazi guards while they were still alive as accessories
to murder. He was bailed out in December. The judges checking his
file now say he is no longer legally competent to stand trial.

Prosecutors have about 30 other elderly men and women in their sights
under a new legal doctrine in Germany that has made working as an
auxiliary of the Nazi SS at two death camps, Treblinka und Sobibor,
sufficient to convict on murder charges.

Previously, witness evidence of physical participation in a killing
was needed.

The judges in the Lipschis case at Ellwangen near Stuttgart in
south-western Germany said it was not settled that the doctrine
applies to guards at Auschwitz, where many Jewish prisoners were kept
alive.

Prosecutors are considering whether to appeal the ruling. They said
Lipschis was in the security detail at Auschwitz, a German
extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, from 1941 to 1943 and his
service there aided its objective of extermination.

 




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U.S. Polo Assn. to open state’s first store at Arizona Mills in Tempe



Arizona Mills Mall

Shoppers in Arizona Mills mall in Tempe. 











Tim Gallen
Reporter- Phoenix Business Journal

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New York-based U.S. Polo Assn. will open its first Arizona outlet store at Tempe’s Arizona Mills this spring.

The retailer will feature a selection of authentic U.S. Polo Association apparel for men, women and children, as well as accessories, luggage, watches and shoes.

The store is not affiliated in any way with well-known retailer Polo Ralph Lauren, which operates a handful of outlet stores across the Valley.

The addition of the U.S. Polo Assn. Factory Outlet is the latest piece to an Arizona Mills expansion, which included a number of new store openings last year, as well as a food court renovation.

“With the addition of a first-in-market U.S. Polo Assn. Factory Outlet and new food court options, Arizona Mills continues to offer the best selection of stores paired with a variety of dining and entertainment venues,” said David Johnston, general manager at Arizona Mills. “These updates will give families more choices, while enhancing our solid reputation as Arizona’s leading shopping destination with more than 175 retailers.”

Last year, Mills opened first-in-market locations of surf apparel retailer O’Neill, appliance and electronics store Conn’s, as well as Shoe Palace.

The mall’s existing HM and Justice stores also received face lifts and expansions.

The food court recently added a number of eateries to its ranks including Mo’ Burger, Villa Italian Kitchen, Far East Asian Faire, South Philly Steaks Fries and Sukotto Japanese Grill.


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Hartland store gives disabled adults a chance

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“It’s whatever people have donated, as long as it’s clean and sellable,” Tino said. “You’d be amazed at how much stuff we get that is brand-new with tags. Not everything is used.”

Training for life

The goal of Freedom Work Opportunities and its Freedom Treasures stores isn’t sales or profits. The goal is to help consumers, as the workers are called, gain the skills to lead productive lives.

“Even though we say they come here to work, this isn’t their job; this is their training,” Tino said. “They come here to learn how to run a register, how to price and make displays in the store look good. They work in the back on cleaning items and processing them. They’ll be able to put that on their resume and be able to get a job out in the community eventually.”

Tino said Freedom Work Opportunities consumers often go on to find jobs at restaurants or grocery stores.

The agency also helps them prepare for job interviews.

“We’ve had some higher-functioning people who won’t even go into our program, we’ll just help find them a job and help with the interview process,” she said. “We just had someone with a nursing degree who we helped place.”

Robin Trimper is executive director of Freedom Work Opportunities. The organization was founded in Highland in 1983 by her late parents, Harold and Beverly Weeks, after their son, Chip, graduated from high school but found few opportunities for work.

Starting with a crew of six consumers providing lawn maintenance to area group homes, Freedom Work Opportunities has grown to include nearly 200 consumers doing assembly work, cleanup projects, recycling and other tasks as well as working in the resale stores.

“We give them a sense of accomplishment,” Trimper said. “They get to go to work every day like mom and dad, brother and sister, and earn their own money to spend.”

Donations welcome

Freedom Treasures Resale Store in Hartland Township is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays.

Donations can be dropped off at the store, or Freedom Work Opportunities can schedule a pickup at the donor’s home.

Stone said the store’s inventory is rotated quickly. Items that do not sell in a timely manner are reduced in price, then given away if they still do not find a buyer.

“Hopefully, when a customer comes back they won’t see the same stuff,” she said.

Shoppers who meet the consumers and see the joy and pride they take in their work may leave the store with more than a good bargain.

“I tell my customers, you can actually see your money at work here,” Stone said.

For more information about Freedom Work Opportunities and its resale stores, call 248-887-1597 or go to http://www.freedomwork.org.

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PHOTO TOUR: MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

Experience Las Vegas is featuring in-depth photo tours of the city’s famous hotels and casino resorts this year. We’ll feature a different Vegas property each month so you can visit virtually before booking your stay, or just fantasize about plush digs outside your budget.

Our February gallery takes us to the MGM Grand Hotel Casino, a staple on the Strip after 20 years. The mainstay finalized its last renovation in 2012, and bills itself as the city of entertainment with a large casino, 5,000 rooms, more than six acres of pools, a variety of shops and of course, shows. Our experts recommend the landmark for foodies, luxury lovers and regular Vegas visitors looking for new surprises. Take our floor-by-floor tour in the gallery above, and come back next month when we take you inside the next hotel.

SEE MORE: Watch a video virtual tour

Plus, former property tours:

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‘Leap of faith’ realized in St. Tammany Hospice House – The Times

More than a dozen years ago, when Kathy Busco was named Executive Director of Hospice Foundation of the South, she recognized the need. There had to be a place where hospice patients in special circumstances – homeless or without caregivers, people living with an elderly spouse or with a child unable to provide 24-hour care – could lay their heads during their final days. That vision has been realized in St. Tammany through Hospice House.

“I told my Board of Directors, you build it and they will come. Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith, and that’s just what we did,” Busco said.

The result of that “leap of faith” was on display Feb. 27 during the Hospice House open house. A long list of dignitaries including State Senator A.G. Crowe and Parish Councilman Steve Stefancik toured the $400,000, 3,600-square-foot facility near Slidell.

Modeled after the Richard Murphy Hospice House in Hammond, La., and constructed under the direction of St. Tammany home builders Tim Fandal, Kenny Adams and Krass DeGeorge, the Hospice House can serve three hospice guests, each having their own private bedroom. The Camellia, Fleur de Lis and Bayou suites have their own bathrooms and screened-in porches. Art donated by Hospice Foundation supporters, including Hospice Foundation of the South Crawfish Cook-off poster artist Adam Sambola, adorned walls painted in tranquil tones. The Hospice House library soon will be filled with a special collection of books being gathered from throughout the community as a Leadership Northshore class of 2013 team project.  A full kitchen, bright and open, is home to the only piece of furniture in the entire house that had to be purchased – the dining room table. Every other elegant piece of furniture in Hospice House was donated, Busco said.

The list of individuals and groups whose support made the Hospice House dream come true is a long one. Special recognition was given on the day of the open house to Tony Beau of Slidell, who Busco said was a constant, working presence throughout the construction. “This is the house that Tony built,” she said.

“They’ve done a great job,” Stefancik said, adding that the facility is an important resource to those in need in St. Tammany. “One of these days you might be glad it’s here, because you might need it.”

To qualify as a Hospice House guest, a person must be in the Hospice Foundation of the South program. “The hospice program will be the one to recognize the need. It might be someone who has no home or no caregivers – say an older couple who has no help. Sometimes it’s a family situation, for example, the children might have to work and can’t be there every minute of the day,” she said. A Home Instead senior caregiver will be on site 24-7 at the Hospice House.

As with setting up any new home, there are always extras that are needed. Pots, pans, a blender and toaster oven are just a few items for which Hospice House is registered at Bed Bath and Beyond and, soon, at Target, Busco said. Patio furniture for each of the bedroom suites, and the main patio, also are needed.

Busco said landscaping also would enhance the property, and she would welcome anyone with gardening expertise to assist the group in drafting a landscape plan – heavy on hearty, low-maintenance plants, she added with a chuckle. Once a plan has been made, and plants obtained, a Hospice House garden work day will be planned.

As guests arrived, alone or in small groups, Busco happily led tour after tour, pointing out significant elements of construction or design.

It was a long time coming, but it was good day.  

“(Kathy Busco) had a vision, and she never gave up,” said Mary Marti, Americare Hospice Volunteer Coordinator.

For information on volunteer opportunities or other areas of support for Hospice House, contact Hospice Foundation of the South at 985.643.5470 or 501 Robert Blvd., Suite 304, Slidell, LA 70458. Details also are available at www.hospicefoundationofthesouth.org.

Next up for Hospice Foundation of the South: The 11th annual Crawfish Cook-off will be held April 26 at Fritchie Park in Slidell. Teams are being organized now, and may register by calling 985.643.5470 or visiting www.hospicefoundationofthesouth.org.

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Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top Dollar

Believe it or not, this winter’s snow and cold will eventually be a thing of the past. And with the spring will come the nearly irresistible urge to purge your house of all the extra stuff that is lurking in the closets, hanging out in the garage or hiding under your kids’ beds.

While a yard sale can be a quick and easy way to unload all those extras, you’ll never get top dollar for items sold to local bargain hunters. If your goal is to make as much money as possible, here are some of the best places to sell your stuff.

Clothes

If you have brand-name or designer duds in good condition, your best bet is to take those items to a local consignment shop. Depending on their policy, you might get paid up front or you may only be paid if an item sells.

How much you get also depends on the store; some split the selling price 50/50 while others may give you more or less. In addition, you might make more if you accept a store credit instead of cash for your items.

Before you load up your bags full of clothes and head to the store, make a visit to check out the shop first. Different stores cater to different clientele, and consignment shops tend to be picky about what they accept. Then, when you do bring in your clothes, make sure they are freshly laundered and folded.

If you live in an area with no consignment shops nearby, you could use an online option such as ThredUp.com, Tradesy.com or Swap.com. But, depending on your items and the particular site, you might not get as much as you would through a local shop.

Books

Used bookstores are a dying breed, but if you have one nearby, you might want to see what your book collection would garner there.

Otherwise, there are dozens of websites that can help sell your old titles. These include big names like Amazon and Half.com, as well as smaller sites like BookJingle.com.

To find out how much your books are worth, head to BookScouter.com, which will list the going price on more than 40 websites. However, you’ll have to go directly to Half.com to look at their prices.

Recent college textbooks and popular hardcover books are your best bets for making some money. Paperbacks and older books may be better used as a tax deduction by donating them to a local thrift store.

Movies and video games

Half.com and Amazon are also good choices for movie and video game sales. You set the price based upon the condition and wait for the right buyer to come along.

Another online option for clearing out old movies, CDs and video games is Decluttr.com. You input the titles you have and the site gives you a tentative price. If the price sounds good, ship your items to Decluttr and they’ll cut you a check.

It may be easier than Half.com and Amazon, but it sounds as though prices can be adjusted upon receipt of your items and, from some online reviews, it appears the site pays yard sale prices for many titles.

For an offline option, check with video game chains such as GameStop and Play N Trade. They buy used games and, in some locations, used movies. Pricing may vary but at least there is no shipping hassle involved.

Collectibles and antiques

If you have a truly valuable antique or a collection of highly sought after items, you’ll likely get the most money through an auction house. Look for one that specializes in your type of item to ensure they are able to attract the right buyers.

If you have antiques or collectibles that aren’t quite auction house caliber, look for an antique store that may be interested in either purchasing them or selling them on consignment.

You could also test the waters with eBay, but unless it’s an item with a devoted following, your auction could get lost in the millions of other listings. Try listing with a “Buy It Now” price or using an auction reserve if you’re hoping to get a specific price.

China and dishware

Even good quality china and dishware can be difficult to sell for any significant amount of money nowadays.

Replacements.com and the International Association of Dinnerware Matchers (iadm.com) will buy china and dishware and may be the easiest way to get a decent amount for your china. Of course, these sites are going to turn around and sell it to others for a significantly higher price.

If you want to cut out the middle man, you could try selling on eBay, but, as with antiques and collectibles, your listing could get lost in the competition. First, research closed listings to see the going rate for your particular brand and style of china. Then, consider selling individual pieces rather than the whole set to maximize your profits.

Sports equipment

Some resale shops such as Play It Again Sports specialize in used fitness equipment. Smaller items such as bats, balls and protective gear might get purchased outright by the shop while larger items, such as treadmills, might be sold on a consignment basis.

You could also turn to Craigslist for sales of sports equipment. The day before practice begins, some parents might be scrambling to buy equipment, and Craigslist is often the first stop when it comes to quick sales.

If you do sell on Craigslist, be sure to follow some simple safety precautions. Meeting in a public place is preferable to having someone come to your home. However, if you are selling something large like a treadmill, you may have no choice but to have the buyer come to your home for pickup. In that case, try to move the item to a garage or entryway to limit access to your house. Also, have a friend – or big dog – home at the time of the exchange.

Musical instruments

Unfortunately, most old pianos, pump organs and the like are a dime a dozen, and you’re lucky if you can give them away, let alone sell them. However, little Johnny’s old clarinet may have some value.

Before selling an old instrument, your first stop should be the local music supply store. It may cost you a couple dollars, but ask if they can give your instrument a once over to clean it up, check for any defects and estimate a value. Then, ask if they sell instruments on consignment.

If not, Plan B is to contact local school music departments and let them know you have an instrument for sale. Band teachers may be happy to pass along the word to families in the market to buy.

Finally, if neither of the above options work for you, try posting to Craigslist. Be aware that if and when someone contacts you and asks you to ship your instrument, it’s likely a scam. Instead, stick to local transactions paid for with cash or an exact amount money order.

Furniture

Unless it’s a valuable antique that might be of interest to an auction house, Craigslist or your local classifieds is where you are likely to come away with the most money for your no longer needed furniture.

When selling through a classifieds site, it’s best to price a little higher than what you’d like to get since many buyers like to haggle. As a starting point for pricing, you can use this furniture calculator to determine how much your piece has depreciated.

However, be aware that the depreciated price isn’t the same as the fair market price. Depending on your area, you could end up selling practically brand-new furniture for 50 percent off or less.

If you’re not keen on selling direct, you could also look for a consignment shop to take the furniture off your hands.

Electronics

There’s no shortage of ways to sell old electronics. You could use Craigslist, eBay, a retailer buy-back program or one of the Internet’s electronics trade-in sites.

How much you get and how you are paid differs from site to site and program to program. Fortunately, Techlicious has done the hard work of comparing the prices you can get from various outlets. Check out this chart, which details how much you can expect to get for tablets, laptops and cameras.

If you have outdated or nonworking electronics, read our article on nine ways to profit from broken electronics.

Regardless of how you sell an old electronic device, don’t forget to wipe the hard drive of any personal information first, lest you become another victim of identity theft.

Everything else

Finally, we come to everything else: the kitchen gadgets, the toys, the knickknacks, the picture frames and all the rest.

Except in rare cases, most of this stuff is, sadly, not going to fetch much. These are the items that are primed for your yard sale.

Even better, if you don’t need quick cash, load everything up and take it to your local thrift store. In some areas, the thrift store will even come to you and pick up your boxes of unwanted treasures (please don’t donate trash!). Then you get a tax deduction, plus the good feelings that come with a de-cluttered house and the knowledge that your stuff will be used to help others.

So what did we miss? Tell us in the comments how you get top dollar for your unwanted items. Or stop by our Facebook page to see what other readers have to say.


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A passion for Paris

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